Three Ways of Salvation

Turn with me, please to the Book of Job, Chapter 40, commencing with Verse 6. "Then answered the Lord unto Job out of whirlwind, and said, gird up thy loins now like a man. I will demand of thee and declare thou unto me. Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? Wilt thou condemn me that thou mayest be righteous? Hast thou an arm like God or canst thou thunder with a voice like him? Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency, and array thyself with glory and beauty. Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath and behold every one that is proud, that abase him. Look on every one that is proud and bring him low, and tread down the wicked in their place. Hide them in the dust together and bind their faces in secret. Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee."

And now a word in Luke Chapter 10, Verse 25. "And behold a certain lawyer stood up; and tempted him, that is Christ, saying Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And He said unto him, what is written in the law? How readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself.  And He, Jesus, said unto him, Thou hast answered right. This do and thou shalt live."

And now Ephesians Chapter 2, Verse 4. "But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, by grace ye are saved, and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast." May God add His blessing to the reading of His Word.

Our subject this evening is three ways of being saved. Brethren, curb your rising gooseflesh. The title may sound quite unorthodox but don't be alarmed, for what we have to say is based on the sure and the certain Word of God. The first way of salvation is propounded by the Father in the Old Testament, the second by the Son in the gospels, the third by the Spirit of God in the Epistles.

You know, there are quite a number of folk who object very strenuously to be confined to one way of salvation. And they object, I have my own ideas on this subject, I don't like to have rammed down my throat there's only one way of salvation. I've got my way; you've got your way, and after all, it doesn't matter what a man believes providing he's sincere in what he believes, he'll wangle his way to heaven somehow, sometime, somewhere even if it happens to be the beautiful isle of somewhere.

There's a great need these days to clarify the salvation question, and by the process of elimination, to show plainly that though there are three ways of salvation there's only one way for folks like you and me.

Let us think if you can of three doors. Door number 1 over there, door number 2 behind me, door number 3 over there. Each door leads into salvation. Above each door is a placard containing the conditions that a person must comply with if he would enter door number 1 or door number 2 or door number 3.

If you find you cannot fulfill the conditions attached to entering door number 1, well, don't get downhearted, try number 2. If you can't fulfill the conditions attached to doorway number 2, try number 3. But after number 3, there's no more. You're out. You've had it. Your goose is cooked and your stuffing is overdone. Now then, way of salvation number one. What are the conditions? Simply they are these, by demonstrating deity. All you have to do is to demonstrate that you're as wise and powerful as God and you don't need to be saved like an ordinary, common or garden person. You can enter the door of salvation on your own merits because of what you are in yourself. In other words, by possessing and manifesting the prerogatives of deity or being like God.

What are the circumstances of Job's case? Job is an afflicted man. He has lost all of his possessions, he's lost his family and now he's lost his health. And there he sits on an ash-heap, and famous so-called friends come along Mr. Eliphaz, Mr. Bildad and Mr. Zophar.

Eliphaz, the sensationalist. He says to Job, "Did ever a spirit pass before your face? Did ever your hair stand on end? No? Too bad. Then listen to me, I've had such an experience." He's a sensationalist and he speaks as one who has had weird experiences5 but he brings no comfort to Job.

Bildad, he is a traditionalist. He can quote mottos by the score. Biff bang, biff bang, poor old Job get it, but remember that for every Oliver he gives him two Rolands. Every one chapter of these friends he replies to with two chapters.

And then comes Mr. Zophar and he was well named because he just went so far and no further. He's the legalist who argues that God gives so much salvation for so much human merit. No human merit, no salvation. Miserable comforters they were.

And in the midst of this discussion, Job, in despair, cries out, "Oh, that I knew where I might find him, thou I might come even to his seat; I would set my cause before him and fill my mouth with arguments. I would know the words if he would answer me and understand what he would say unto me."

And finally the words of Job's friends are silent, and God takes a hand.  God comes to him in a vision and speaks to him out of a whirlwind and says to him, "Gird up thy loins now like a man." You wanted to come before my seat, now is your opportunity, Job. Stand up from that ash-heap and answer these questions that I'm going to put to you.

"I will demand of thee and declare thou unto Me. Wilt thou also disannul My judgment? Wilt thou condemn Me that thou mayest be righteous? Hast thou an arm like God? Canst thou thunder with a voice like Him? Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency and array thyself with glory and beauty. Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath.  Behold every one that is proud and abase him. Look on every one that is proud and bring him low, and tread down the wicked in their place. Hide them in the dust together and bind their faces in secret." Then when you've done all that, Job, I'll confess unto thee that your own right hand can save you because you don't need Me at all. You can become your own saviour.  All you have to do is to demonstrate deity.

So the first condition then over doorway number 1 is this: If you demonstrate deity, you may enter here.  Now what does it mean to demonstrate deity? Well, first of all, a person must be omniscient, that is he must know all things. He must know as much as God knows.

Turn to the 38th Chapter of Job and let's see the quiz that God gives to Job. He has an IQ and I doubt very much whether any of us would pass it.  Job 38, Verse 4; now Job, "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?" Now where were you when God laid the foundations of this earth?

Do you know? Well, you weren't even in existence. Oh. Then you're not like God for God was there when it happened.

Verse 6, "Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the cornerstone thereof when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"

Verse 12, "Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days, and caused the dayspring to know his place?" Did you have anything to do with the rising of the sun this morning? Did you kindly give the sun permission to rise above the east in the horizon? And did you have anything to do with the sun setting in the west?

An old African chief thought he had that prerogative and every morning before sunrise he did come out of his old filthy hut, and with the rags of royalty about him, he would give a Lordly gesture and say, "Sun, you may now rise," and the sun very kindly rose. Both over the horizon and to the occasion. And then just as the sun was about to set, he would say again in that Lordly tone, sun, you may now set, and the sun very kindly set. We laugh at the folly of that individual. Are we any better?

Verse 16, "Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? Or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?"

Verse 18, "Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? Declare if thou knowest it all." Come now, you little know all; come, tell Me that.

Verse 21, "'(Knowest thou it, because thou wast then born? Or because the number of thy days is great?"

Verse 22, "Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? Or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?"

There is a very interesting question in physics. "By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth."

And then a lesson in astronomy, Verse 31, "Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? Or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?"

Some years ago, 1933 to be exact, Chicago put on a world's fair. The only world's fair, as far as I know, that ever paid its way. And every night there was a most interesting ceremony. The light from Arcturus, which by the way takes 150 years to reach the earth, every night the lights of that fair were put on by a delicate photo-electric cell which caught the rays of the star Arcturus.

"Canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?" Do you have anything to do with those constellations of the heavens, the moving of the planets, those great galaxies way yonder back in space?

Verse 33, "Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? Canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?"

Verse 35, "Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say onto thee, here we are." Lightning? Yes, Lord. Strike that tree. Bang. Do you have any control of the lightning? I've seen people crawl under beds, put away all the silver when a little bit of lightning flashes.

And by the way, if you really want to see lightning flash, go to Johannesburg. They have the greatest lightning fatality in the whole world per capita in Johannesburg. I had the lightning crack right behind me. Scared the wits out of me. Why believe me, when the lightning cracks and you hear the crack of the lightning before you hear the thunder, then you know you're jolly near that lightning.

Verse 36, "Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts?" A little lesson in psychology. "Or who hath given understanding to the heart?"

Job, can you answer those questions? And I see Job getting smaller and smaller and smaller as those questions are put to him. He makes no attempt to answer them because he has no answer. He realizes he is not omniscient.

All right, Let's try something else. He must be omnipotent. Verse 9, "Hast thou an arm like God?" Ever try your hand at a little creating? Start with something small, a worm. That's not hard to make. Get a little mud, just rub it like this. There you've got a worm. Now all you have to do is to put the life principle in that worm and give it a digestive tract. There you are. Simple as A, B, C. Start early in the kindergarten. Anyone ever do that? No.

Then when you're through with making a worm, try your hand on a man. Try your hand on a man. There are eyes that can see, ears that can hear, a mouth that can talk and a mind that can reason. Hands and feet do the bidding of the mind. Don't forget to give him a complex personality.

I remember at this same world's fair in 1933 one of the most interesting exhibits was a robot known as Willy. Willy the robot. And my the folks just crowded to see Willy perform every hour on the hour, and I was amongst those present to see Willy do his stuff. Willy was a mechanical man. Sat on a chair. Maker of this man said, "Willy, stand up," and you heard the machinery.  And suddenly, before your astonished eyes, Willy rose to his feet. "Willy, work the vacuum cleaner."

Away went the vacuum cleaner.   Wonderful.

And as the last act, the crowning act of intelligence, Willy actually smoked a cigarette with no danger whatever of lung cancer and blew it out his nose.  Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. And all the mechanism necessary for standing up, running a vacuum cleaner, smoking that cigarette occupied the rest of his body.

And people were saying, my, isn't that wonderful to invent a thing like that, never realizing that every time they look into a mirror and saw the reflection therein they were looking at a marvel ten thousand, million, billion, trillion times more complex than Willy the robot.

And when you've made a man, try bringing a few worlds into existence.  Speak and see it happen. Well, that's how this world came into being. God spake, it was done. He commanded, it took place. Through faith we understand that the world was framed by the Word of God. So you're not omnipotent. Oh, that's too bad.

So you must also be omnipresent. You must be everywhere at the same time.  "Behold all those that are proud and abase Him and look on every one that is proud and bring him low." Do you know where I was on October 14, 1897 at 10:45 a.m.? I don't and you don't, but God does.

Because knoweth not God of all things? For God is everywhere, everywhere present. "Though I take the winds of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the earth, even there shall Thy right hand leave me and Thy right hand shall guide me."

But more, Job. If you're going to be able to save; yourself, you must be able to clothe yourself with majesty and excellency and glory and beauty. Did you ever do that? Did you ever deck yourself with majesty and excellency and glory and beauty so that when men saw you they fell at your feet as dead in worshipful adoration? Well, no, no one ever did that to me.  No, but God does.

"I saw the Lord high and lifted up and his train filled the temple" and those holy beings before that glorious being that sat up on that throne cried continually, "Holy, holy is the Lord God of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory." Isaiah said, "Woe, is me; I am undone. On the Mount of Transfiguration, the Lord Jesus decked Himself with majesty and excellency and glory and beauty so that His face shone like the sun. He was transfigured before His disciples.

What was the effect on Job as he saw himself in the light of God's wisdom and power and majesty and glory and excellency? He prostrated himself in the dust and this is what he said. "Behold, I am vile. What shall I answer thee? I spoke once, yea twice. I'll proceed no further. I'm through." He put his hand up on his mouth.

And in Chapter 42, he says, "I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eyes seeth Thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." So poor Job couldn't go in through doorway number 1. He wasn't able to demonstrate deity.

Anyone here who can demonstrate deity, who possesses all knowledge, all power, all presence? No?  Then doorway number 1 is not for you or for me. Am I correct? Well, eliminate from your mind from now on all thoughts of getting in at doorway number 1. Only by fulfilling those conditions will God say to you, "There you are. I confess thine own hand can save thee."

Now let's try doorway number 2. A lawyer comes to the Lord Jesus. Puts this interesting question to him.  Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? Note the emphasis here is on the word do.

Do I hear someone say, "Why, Mr. Preacher, that's my question exactly? All I want to know is what I can do to make salvation. I don't want this salvation by grace. Not I. I'm prepared to go 50/50 with God but I'm not prepared to let God do a hundred percent and myself nothing at all. I want to be saved on the basis of my own doings. I want salvation or eternal life to be a reward for all my holy thoughts, my good works, my good resolves my church membership, the ordinances to which I've passed, the good laws that I've made and the attempts I've tried to do the best I can to all the people I can in all the ways I can as often as ever I can at odd intervals."

Now then, what are the conditions for entering doorway number 2? Well here's a condition. In brief, it is absolute perfection in every detail of one's life, in thought and word and deed. Doorway number 1; demonstrate deity.

Doorway number 2, the condition is produce perfection in your life. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." And Jesus said, "This do and thou shall live." Notice he didn't say, "This try to do." He said, "Just do." Do it in all perfection and you'll have eternal life. You'll be saved.

Now let's examine this statement of the law. First, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart What does that mean? It means that the center of your being, the heart, has been entirely devoted to God constantly. It means that your heart is flooded with love to God so that no thought of self in any of its forms is present at any time.

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy soul. What does that mean?  It means that all bodily appetites, all lusts, self-pleasing and worldly pleasures have been given up entirely, and God is the supreme and the satisfying portion of your life and this, of course, involves self-surrender, self-denial, self-sacrifice. That's what's involved by loving God with all your soul.

Third, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all your strength. What does that mean? It means that all your time and all your energy is devoted to God alone and never for the furtherance of your own interests in any shape or form at any time.

Fourth, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy mind. What does that mean? It means that there will never be any wrong thoughts enter your mind because your mind is stayed upon Jehovah. All your words, all your motives, all your attitudes, all your actions will be governed entirely by God. For it is our thoughts, as you know, that shape our words and our deeds and our attitudes.

To love the Lord thy God with all thy mind means no evil thoughts will ever enter or be entertained in our mind.

Fifth, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. What does that you mean? Who is my neighbor? Anyone who needs my help is my neighbor. That's how the lawyer tried to wiggle out of this. He said, "Who is my neighbor?" And Christ gave the parable of the Good Samaritan in answer to that question.  In other words, the same love and care and thought that we spend on ourselves must be given to our neighbor.

Let me try to illustrate what this means. You're on your way home in a street car or bus. As you near the place where you live, you see a great big column of smoke going up in the air and this column of smoke is coming from the neighborhood in which your house is located. My. When the bus stops, you run immediately, go onto your street, and as you come onto your street, you give a sigh of relief. "Oh, goody, goody, goody. It's only my house that's being burned up instead of my neighbor's. I thought it was my neighbor's. Well, I'm so happy it's only my house." That's what it means to love your neighbor as yourself.

Now then, note what Christ said. "This do and thou shalt live." Nothing can be plainer than this. Now have you done this? Are you doing this? Can you always do it? If so, enter doorway number 2. You're saved on the basis of your own goodness. You can pat yourself on the back and say, "Three cheers for me. I'm saved because I deserve to be saved. I love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul, with all my strength and with all my mind and I love my neighbor as myself and here I am, saved because of my own goodness."

I'll tell you this. You'll never be in heaven. How come? Because they sing a song in heaven and this is the song they sing. "Thou art worthy, Lord Jesus, for thou wast slain and has redeemed us to God by thy blood and to every kindred and tribe and tongue and nation." Not a word about themselves. "Unto him that loved us and loosed us from our sins in his own blood to him be the glory and dominion forever and ever."

Now remember to fail in one point is to be immediately disqualified the least little bit of failure in this demand for absolute perfection disqualifies. For he that keepeth the whole law and offendeth in one point, the same is guilty of all. And more, past sins disqualify.  If you haven't always been perfect, then you're out. You don't have a ghost of a chance of getting through that door.

Here's a murderer. He's brought to trial and the judge says, "What have you got to say before I pass the judgment of death?" "Your Honor, I'm determined from now on to live a good, honest, clean, respectable life." "Ah, says the judge, "in that case you may go free." Do they do that in this country? No indeed.

Future good conduct doesn't atone for past bad conduct. God desires that which is past. Is there anyone here who can say, "From the time I became first conscious of my own entity I have always and at all times loved God with all my heart and soul and strength and mind and my neighbor as myself?" No.

Hath anyone ever lived on this earth who could enter doorway number 1 and doorway number 2? Yes, one person. Who is that? God's beloved Son, the Lord Jesus who-took upon Himself the form of man, was made in fashion as a man and humbled Himself and became obedient onto death, even the death of the cross. That glorious being, God manifest in the flesh, could at any time during His lifetime on earth enter doorway number 1. For He loved the Lord His God with all His heart and soul and strength and mind and His neighbor as Himself.

He could at all times demonstrate deity. He was Omnipotent, He was Omniscient, Omnipresent, immutable in the possession of all His Divine attributes yet He did not enter doorway number 1 by demonstrating His deity, nor did He enter doorway number 2 to prove His perfection. If He had, there would be no salvation for you and me.

He went to the cross to provide doorway number 3. And what is doorway number 3? "By grace are ye saved through faith, not of works lest any man should boast." The blessed Lord Jesus on Calvary's cross by the sacrifice of Himself, by the shedding of His most precious blood has forever satisfied all the claims of a holy law, every day man of a righteous God.

He willingly brought our sins in His own body on that tree and there all alone, on that hill lone and gray in that land far away, He put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, and accomplished by His death all the work necessary for your salvation and mine. Now have you got that? Let me repeat it. Christ accomplished on that cross by His death and resurrection all the work that is necessary for your eternal salvation.

Now, since Christ has accomplished all the work needed for your salvation, what is there left for you to do? The answer is nothing, but to enter into the wide open door which He in His grace has provided. Doorway number 1, demonstrate deity. Doorway number 2, prove perfection. Doorway number 3, God's grace, and to have faith in the person and the work of the Lord Jesus.

Let us think of three things in regard to this third way of salvation which is the only way for sinners like you and me. First, its need; second, its provision; and third, its condition for entering. First its need. Man by nature is a helpless, hopeless, undone sinner, both by birth and by purpose. Man is described in the Bible as being sick, spiritually sick, needing healing. Jesus said, "I came not to call the righteous. I came to call sinners in repentance. They that are well do not need a doctor, but those who are sick."

Man is described secondly as being blind, needing illumination. The god of this age has blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest they should believe and the light of the gospel should shine unto them, but Christ said, "I am come a light into the world," and He gives light to those who put their trust in Him.

Thirdly, man is described in the Bible as a criminal needing pardon. Man is guilty in the sight of God, but through the Lord Jesus it is made known unto him a salvation full and free and eternal and apardon.

Fourth, man is described as being lost, needing salvation. "If our gospel is hid, it is hid to them which are lost in whom the god of this age has blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest they should believe and the light of the gospel should shine unto them."

Man is described in the Bible as being spiritually dead, needing life, and what man needs, Christ, by his death, has provided.

Man is described as being a slave, needing liberation, and Christ came into this world as a great emancipator to set the prisoner free.

And lastly, man is described as being a bankrupt, owing to God that which he cannot possibly pay. Christ came into the world to pay that debt so that man might be reinstated and forgiven. Man then by nature is utterly undeserving of the least of God's mercies.

Now second, its provision. The door to salvation for sinners has been provided and opened and kept open by the Saviour, who said, "I am the Door. By Me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture." Grace is the source of this salvation. And see, it is by grace; it is utterly and entirely apart from human merit.

God knew very well that we could not do one thing to save ourselves and so He sent his Son as that lovely hymn told us written by Horatius Bonar, one of the famous Bonar brothers of Scotland, a great man of God who loved the Lord Jesus and wrote so many beautiful hymns. "Grace, saved by grace alone.  This is all my plea. Jesus died for all mankind and Jesus died for me." Not of works, not of works, not of works, not of works, not of works, lest any man should boast.

And you pound that into the ears of a sinner it goes in one ear and comes right out of the other ear. For after the meeting you say, well, how can you be saved? By doing the best I can. Nonsense. If you can be saved by doing the best you can, Christ would never have died on the cross.

Christ died on the cross because there's nothing we can do to merit God's favor. God commended his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Grace is the source of this salvation.  The redeeming blood of Christ is the cost of this salvation.

He gave all He had. He poured out His soul onto death. He shed His most precious blood. Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.

And third, salvation is the result. As a result of Christ's work on the cross, as a result of His death and His glorious resurrection, a full and free and eternal salvation has been provided for every lost and guilty son and daughter of Adam's race, provided that individual will have fulfilled the conditions written over the door of this door of salvation.

And what is the condition? Well, it's as simple as A, B, C. They give you the A, then the B and then the C. A, admit your lost and guilty state.  You'll never be saved until you do that.

One of the most difficult things to bring to a man is the realization of his lost and guilty and helpless and hell-deserving condition. In fact, no man can do that. It takes the Spirit of God to strip from an individual the filthy rags of his own self righteousness or false religious profession and cut it right down to size so that he sees himself to be what God declares he is; a helpless, hopeless sinner. Oh, God, I'm nothing but a poor, guilty lost sinner. I deserve to go to hell. Good.  You're just the kind of people that  God saves and no others.

Jesus said, "I came not to call the righteous." Why not? There weren't any. There were a lot of people who thought they were righteous and despise others, like the Pharisees, but the Pharisees were not saved in their pride.

B. You believe on Christ, believe that He loved you, believe that He bore your sins in His own body on the cross of Calvary, believe it was for you the Saviour suffered and bled upon that cross, that all your sins were laid on Him and that He willingly assumed the liability of all your sin and guilt and by His death satisfied all the demands of divine justice in your stead. Believe; believe on the Lord Jesus.

Accept Him by faith as your own personal Saviour. Say to him, Lord Jesus, here I am, a poor guilty sinner. I heard tonight that on that cross you bore my sins and took my place and died for me, taking my place as a sinner. I now believe, Lord Jesus, for me thou didst suffer and bleed and die. I believe that all the work needed for my salvation was done by Thee, and right here and now I receive You by faith as my own personal Saviour.  That's what it means to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

C. Confess Him with your mouth as the Lord of your life. God has given you a mouth. God wants you to use that mouth now to confess to your friends that you have taken that step of faith. "If thou shall confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord and shall believe in thine heart that God has raised

Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved, for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made onto salvation."  Confess Him as the Lord of your life. And what'll happen? You'll be saved.

Now let's think of these three doors again. Doorway number 1, the condition, demonstrate deity. Be like God and you need no divine hand to save you. You can become your own saviour. Doorway number 2, produce perfection in your life. Absolute sinlessness in thought and word and deed and you may enter in and be saved on the basis of your own good works, your own merits. Doorway number 3, come as a poor, lost and guilty sinner, put your faith and trust in God's beloved son the Lord Jesus and then you'll be saved by grace through faith, not of works lest any man should boast.

That's how I got saved. That's how every Christian here tonight got saved.  That's the only way to be saved that the Word of God knows anything at all about as far as we're concerned. Three ways of salvation, but only one way for the likes of you and me.